To all the college students: make sure toget & complete a few internships. Internships are very crucial especially since they provide the experience that employers look for when applying to post-graduation jobs. Internships are temporary positions where you work for a period of time to gain experience in a certain field. Internships can be paid or unpaid, but in the end what matters is the experience, both for yourself & your resume.
The main reason to get an internship is for the hands on experience which will allow you to get a feel for the position & its responsibilities. Through internships you can test drive your career choices and realize that you no longer want to work in a certain field anymore. Internships will also provide direct exposure of the office culture which you can use as an advantage to better fit in. Pay attention & observe the atmosphere as this will help you decide if you rather work in a small, large, private or non-profit company. Internships can also be applied towards college credits, but every school is different so double check with the guidelines & polices of your school.
As an intern, you will come across many employees where you can network & make connections with. Employers love when their employees work hard & efficiently. Develop great working habits from your internships by staying busy & asking for more work. Build a trust within your coworkers so they can give you a chance to complete an important task or trust you enough to vouch for you. Ask for advice & mostly importantly for feedback to improve. Remember to exchange contact information & remain in touch because you might need them for a reference or they can remember your hard work & possibility offer you a job after graduation. If not they can pass your name to someone else & allow you to connect with their networks.
I cannot express how important it is to maintain a good relationship with everyone at your internship. Even if you realized the field or company is not what you want to pursue NEVER BURN THE BRIDGE!!! Keep in mind to take it seriously & try your hardest. Even if your bosses are lenient be careful of your breaks & don’t use social media networks, because you will never know who is watching. Just because your boss can’t see what you are doing, doesn’t mean they won’t hear about it. You will never know who you will come across again so remain friendly. Don’t leave on a bad impression or on the “DO NOT RE-HIRE” list.
Where can you get internships? Where do you start?
- Try the career center at your school. Make an appointment to meet with someone. Your college tuition pays for services like this so USE IT.
- Google or use the website indeed.com.
- Check postings at your school for internships.
- Check with your school’s policies on internship to see if you can create your own internship & have a professor, staff, or faculty member sponsor you.
- Go to local businesses & ask if they would like an intern. Research the business & express your interest . Perfect timing to sell your brand & skills. Ask yourself “What do I have to offer to this company that someone haven’t already?”
DO NOT procrastinate when it comes to internships. Figure your interests and find an internship. The search can be long & hard, but don’t give up as this is very essential for both your experience & post-graduation. Good luck & don’t give up. Enjoy the internships, learn something & remember in the end it’s all about what you take & make from the experience.